One of my girlfriends has a knack for finding the good stuff at thrift stores. She’s especially gifted at uncovering jewelry that needs just a little tlc. A few months ago, she came across a necklace with a silver and blue tiger paw charm on it. We work at the University of Memphis. Our mascot is a tiger, and our school colors are blue and grey. We’re forever on the lookout for Tiger Blue clothing and accessories.
She knew this necklace had potential, but it needed work. The rubber-coated wire that the charm was on was simply awful. Because of the heavy gauge wire, the necklace was too stiff and circular, making it not at all attractive or comfortable to wear. The charm was the true treasure. She polished it up, and the paw looked gorgeous. We think that it’s either sterling silver or silver-plated.
Once she had the charm all spiffed up, my friend brought me the necklace and told me to do something fabulous with it. So began my quest for the perfect beads. I finally found them at an Intergalactic Bead Show. Yes, I know the name sounds crazy, but their bead shows can be a lot of fun. More importantly, I usually get great deals. My beads were waiting for me at the Dragon Fly Wings booth. The most beautiful, cobalt blue glass beads jumped off the display at me. They look like sea glass, a teeny bit frosted but translucent enough to look magnificent in the sun. The vendor had them in two sizes (4mm and 6mm), and I didn’t think twice about buying them.
I revamped the tiger paw necklace that night when I got home from the bead show. To add some pizzazz and break up the blue, I strung the blue beads intermittently with silver spacers. The tiger paw charm was, of course, prominently featured.
I was so excited to show my friend what I had come up with and couldn’t wait to see her wear the new version of the necklace. She loved it. As I should have known, she refused to take it, telling me her plan all along was for me to have the necklace because she thought that I would wear it more. I am a pretty big Tigers’ fan, so she may be right!
Every time I wear this necklace, someone asks me where I got it. I love to tell them about our creative collaboration, but folks are usually then disappointed that they can’t have one of their own. If we could only find more of the tiger paws, I think we could make a fortune! Until then, I’ll keep sporting my one-of-kind necklace. Go Tigers Go!